Maternity 101 - Still Growing

How Big Is Your Bump?

Take the guesswork out of dressing your growing belly and start by selecting your bump size below:

YOU’RE STILL GROWING…

Nearly there! Grab a few tops that keep your belly covered and comfy, and find something soft and special to pack in your hospital bag (you deserve it!). Now’s the time to invest in a few nursing essentials, you’ll be glad you did.

8 Necessities to Pack in your Hospital Bag
Learn More
Nursing Essentials for Breastfeeding + Pumping
Learn More
Make it Through the Homestretch with These 10 Comfy Picks
Learn More


MEET YOUR ESSENTIALS

Hone in on the home stretch with these maternity must-haves and nursing needs.

THE TAKE-HOME TWELVE

Meet the everyday essentials that fit, no matter your stage of pregnancy.

CHECK. CHECK. CHECK

Taking care of (baby) business.

WELCOME TO THE HOMESTRETCH

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How to Meal Prep in 6 Easy Steps

Sep 7, 2018 | Health

How to Meal Prep in 6 Easy Steps

Bay Area Chef Tana J Duncan breaks down how to meal prep in 6 easy steps. Save your family time and money and learn the basics.

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6 Ways to Get that Elusive Pregnancy Sleep

Jul 28, 2019 | Preparedness

6 Ways to Get that Elusive Pregnancy Sleep

If you find yourself eyes wide open at 2 a.m., wondering if you should reach for your phone, get up and make yourself a snack, or power up the kindle, you’re not alone. Any parent’s advice to a mama-to-be is, “Enjoy your sleep!” But guess what? Sometimes it’s just not that easy.

Even the soundest sleepers can become total insomniacs once the creation of life is on our to-do list. And there’s a whole host of reasons why. Maybe it’s because you have to get up to pee every two hours, or because your new nightly heartburn makes it impossible to lie down. Or maybe it’s the cramp in your leg, the ache in your back, or the ever-growing belly you’re trying to maneuver every time you want to roll over (or the tiny human inside that’s kickboxing your uterus!).

And it doesn’t stop there. Our mind can be as big of an insomnia culprit as our body. What will labor feel like? How many prenatal vitamins do I have left? Did I remember to put those crib sheets on the registry? Cloth or disposable? Sometimes we can easily spin ourselves out till sunrise. There’s no tried-and-true secret for sinking into a deep, undisturbed sleep while pregnant, but there are a few ways you can set yourself up for greater success.

Body pillow With your growing belly, stretchy hips, and achy joints and muscles, getting comfy at night can feel like a pipe dream. But a body pillow can be a huge help. And there are so many different kinds—S-shaped, U-shaped, wedge-shaped, and more—so if one isn’t right, don’t let it stop you from trying out another. Find one that gives you support where you most need it, whether that’s between your knees or under your neck or belly.

Diffuser Lavender essential oil has been shown to alleviate anxiety and up sleep quality. Add a few drops to a diffuser and let that little machine mist you into dreamland. Or skip the diffuser all together and just go straight for the oil: add a couple drops of lavender oil to your pillow case before you go to sleep, or dab a drop or two on your wrists or temple.

Eye mask When we’re having trouble sleeping, even a little bit of light (from a streetlamp, a bathroom light, or even a smartphone) can feel like a floodlight. If you’ve never been an eye mask person, now might be the time to try it—wearing one is the easiest way to you may just wonder why you went so long without one.

Meditation Yeah, we know you know—meditation makes everything better. But it’s kind of true! Especially when it comes to sleep and the mental acrobatics anxiety makes us perform. You can start small, really small, with just a couple of minutes a day. But see if you can keep it up, we swear it gets easier.

Exercise Here’s another one you’ve probably heard, but that’s ’cause it truly works—a bit of exercise every day has been shown to improve sleep. We’re not saying to benchpress your weight after you put your PJs on, but getting your body moving during the day will help it slow down at night. 

Sound machine They’re not just for babies! Having some soothing, consistent noise in your bedroom at night—hello ocean sounds!—can help lull you to sleep and then keep you there, by drowning out external noise and keeping your brain in a state of calm.


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Create Your Birth Plan

Jul 28, 2019 | Preparedness

Create Your Birth Plan

The big day is approaching, are you ready mama? We've got a guide to help you get from hospital to home! Read more to create your birth plan! 

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From Snapchat to Snail Mail: How to Make Your Birth Announcement

Jul 28, 2019 | Social

From Snapchat to Snail Mail: How to Make Your Birth Announcement

Whether on the gram on in print, read on for the lowdown on how to announce your birth, and what to say when you do. 

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8 Tips for Choosing a Baby Name

Jul 28, 2019 | Preparedness

8 Tips for Choosing a Baby Name

What's in a name? Well Mama, read on to find out. Here's a checklist to help you pick out the perfect name for your baby.

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Going Back to Work: A Pumping FAQ

Sep 10, 2018 | Preparedness

Going Back to Work: A Pumping FAQ

By Michelle Clookie

It can seem like just as soon as you start to get the hang of new motherhood, it’s time to go back to work, which can present a whole new learning curve—especially if you’ve been breastfeeding and want to keep doing so. But with a little planning and know-how, you can totally do it mama! Pumping is a labor of love, and I think you are making a great choice, for both you and your baby—one that you will never regret. As a lactation consultant who’s supported numerous moms as they return to work, I’ve put together answers to the most frequently asked questions to help make it a little easier for you, too.

Q: How do I create a 'milk stash' before returning to work, and how much will I need? 

A: There is a common misconception that you need a huge “milk stash” saved for when you return to work. This can be stressful if you’re not pumping a ton beyond your baby’s immediate needs. Have no fear! That 100-ounce stash you may have seen recommend elsewhere online is not a necessity. Realistically you only need about two days’ worth of milk to be on the safe side. Though it depends on their weight, if your baby is 3 to 6 months old, they will most likely need 3 to 4 ounces every 2 to 3 hours. This means that if you’re away at work for eight hours, you will need about 24 ounces in your ‘stash’ to get you through that first day of work, with a little emergency backup. To prep, start pumping once a day after your first morning feed, about one month before returning to work (avoid pumping in the first 6 weeks postpartum so as not to mess with your milk supply). Don’t worry if you are only pumping 1 ounce at a time—save it in the fridge until you collect about 3 to 4 ounces then pop it in the freezer!

Q: How do I create a pumping schedule?

A: This can seem daunting, but it’s actually very simple. If your baby is eating every 2 to 3 hours, pump every 2 to 3 hours. You don’t need to pump at the same time your baby eats every day—if your baby eats at 9:30 a.m. and you can’t get out of a meeting until 10:30 a.m., that’s ok. The same goes if your pumping times change based on your day’s work schedule—don’t stress! Here’s the best rule of thumb to keep in mind: If baby is eating three times while away from you, try and get three pumping sessions in. If you are making way more milk than baby needs, and freezing milk that is not being used, you can try cutting out a pumping session, just be careful to assess your supply. If you notice a dip, add that pumping session back in.

 Q: Do I freeze all my milk every time I come home? 

A: The short answer is no! The long answer is that fresh breast milk contains the most valuable nutrients, so feed your baby fresh milk first. On Monday (or your first day of work for the week) feed your baby the oldest milk in the fridge. On Tuesday offer them Monday’s pumped milk (no need to freeze), on Wednesday offer Tuesday’s pumped milk (no need to freeze), and so on. On Friday (or your last day of work for the week), put that pumped milk in the freezer. Voila, you now have a pro-pumping-breastfeeding-badass-mama schedule!

 Q: How do I clean my pump and store my milk at work?

A: Washing pump parts can be a pain. Nobody wants to clean a pump more than once a day, so my recommendation is to throw the milk and all the pumping parts in the fridge after you are done pumping. This means you only need to wash your pumping parts when you get home at night. When it comes to storing, have milk storage bags with you and place the full ones in the fridge at work towards the back. Depending on the length of your commute, you may want to bring a small, insulated lunch bag for transporting your milk home, but if it’s not a long trip or drive, you can do without. Keep things as simple as possible! For more detailed milk storage guidelines, click here.

Q: My baby's caregiver is asking for more milk? How much milk does my baby need? 

A: The amount of milk a baby needs is based on their age and their weight. In the United States moms typically return to work between 3 and 6 months postpartum, which means babies that age need about 3 to 4 ounces per feed. Breastfed babies tend to top off at 4 ounces around 5 to 6 months of age, and rarely need more than that at one feeding. Consider visiting a breastfeeding support group or a lactation consultant in your area to get your baby’s accurate weight, a weighted feed, and to discuss the amount needed for your baby. Sometimes babies take milk faster from a bottle than they do from the breast, which can lead to that baby’s tummy not having enough time to tell its brain that they are full. To prevent this from happening, keep your bottle nipple at a size 1 (rarely do breastfed babies need to go above this level).

Another helpful tip for preventing baby from being overfed with the bottle is to practice paced bottle feeding, which more closely mimics breastfeeding. Find more information about it here. Don’t be afraid to advocate for this even when working with seasoned caregivers and daycare centers!

Q: What are my rights as a working mom? 

A: Regulations vary from state to state, but most workplaces are required to be supportive of new moms and their need to pump, including service industry jobs. If your company has a Human Resources department, set up a meeting with an HR representative and your manager (or only your manager if there is no dedicated HR department) to discuss how often you’ll need to pump, to designate a private space where you can do so as well as where you can store your pumped milk if a break room fridge is not available. For more information about your working mama rights, visit the Thrive Momma resources page here.


For more information on going back to work, if you have questions, or if you just need to be reminded that you are capable of doing hard things, feel free to email me at hello@michelleclookie.co. Also, visit my website for upcoming online classes that cover this topic!


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Curating a Bump-Friendly Closet: The Crossover Panel®

Jun 27, 2018 | What To Wear

Curating a Bump-Friendly Closet: The Crossover Panel®

As your belly grows, it presses outward on the Crossover Panel. The bigger you get, the more support you receive.

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Curating a Breastfeeding-Friendly Closet: Nursing Essentials

Jul 26, 2019 | collection:nursing | What To Wear

Curating a Breastfeeding-Friendly Closet: Nursing Essentials

The perfect nursing essentials to help assist you through this new journey with babe.

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Go-Time Clothing: Pieces to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Jul 28, 2019 | collection:hospital-essentials | Preparedness

Go-Time Clothing: Pieces to Pack in Your Hospital Bag

Packing a hospital bag is one of those pregnancy milestones, along with setting up a crib and washing those tiny newborn onesies for the first time. Here's your Hospital Bag essentials to make the big day a little easier!

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